Indonesian humorous status in social media: An application of script-based semantic theory of humour

Sisila Fitriany Damanik, Mulyadi Mulyadi


This paper aims to analyse Indonesian humorous status in social media by applying the Script Semantic Theory of Humour (SSTH) and the parameters called Knowledge Resources (KRs) of the General Theory of Verbal Humour (GTVH). It is conducted by applying a qualitative method since the purpose of this study is primarily to describe and to establish the variation in a situation, phenomenon, problem, or event without quantifying them. The data is taken from Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp account followed by the first writer of this study for eight months. There are 17 statuses to be analysed, in which, seven statuses consist of 21 phrases analysed by applying SSTH theory, while the other 10 statuses consist of 14 phrases as set-up stages, 18 phrases, and three pictures as punchline stages analysed by applying GTVH theory. From the data being displayed, regarding the Superiority theory, it is found that people generally laugh because of other people’s misfortunes, and it emphasizes one’s superiority to the shortcomings of others. The people will laugh at individuals who are inferior or ugly, because they feel happy, and feel superior to them. Based on Release/Relief theory, humorous status also stems from regenerating something painful into something light-hearted. It is an indication of the misfortunate aspects of life. From the Incongruity theory, it is found that humour appears when there is an oddity between the concepts prepared in certain situations and the real events that are thought to be related to the concept. The paper further elaborates the findings and discuss them in detail.


script Semantic Theory of Humour; General Theory of Verbal Humour; superiority theory; release theory; incongruity theory

Full Text:



Antonopoulou, E., & Sifianou, M. (2003). Conversational dynamics of humour: The telephone game. Greek Journal of Pragmatics, 35, 741-769.

Archakis, A. & Tsakona, V. (2005). Analyzing conversational data in GTVH terms: A new approach to the issue of identity construction via humour. Humour - International Journal of Humour Research, 18(1), 41-68.

Attardo, S. (1994). Linguistic theories of humour (Vol. 1, Humour research). Mouton de Gruyter.

Attardo, S. (1996). Humour theory beyond jokes: The treatment of humorous texts at large. In J. Hulstijn & A. Nijholt, (Eds.), Automatic interpretation and generation of verbal humour, IWCH ‘96. (pp. 87-101). University of Twente.

Attardo, S. (2001). Humorous texts: A semantic and pragmatic analysis (Vol. 6, Humour research). Mouton de Gruyter.

Attardo, S., & Raskin, V. (1991). Script theory revis(it)ed: Joke similarity and joke representation model. Humour - International Journal of Humour Research, 4(3-4), 293-348.

Brock, A. (2005). Analyzing scripts in humorous communication. Humour - International Journal of Humour Research, 17(4), 353-360.

Kumar, R (2011). Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. SAGE Publication Ltd.

Larkin-Galiñanes, C. (2017). An overview of humour theory. In S. Attardo (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and humour (Routledge handbooks in linguistics) (pp. 4-16). Routledge.

Lynch, O. (2002). Humorous communication: Finding a place for humour in communication research. Communication Theory, 12(4), 423-445.

Martin, R. (2010). The psychology of humour: An integrative approach. Elsevier Science.

Miczo, N. (2014). Analyzing structure and function in humour: Preliminary sketch of a message-centered model. Humour, 27(3), 461-480.

Raskin, V. (1984). Semantic mechanisms of humour. Reidel.

Ruch, W., Attardo, S., & Raskin, V. (1993). Toward an empirical verification of the general theory of verbal humour. Humour - International Journal of Humour Research, 6(2), 123-136.

Saude, C. J. (2018). Application of the general theory of verbal humor to texts in “The Onion” [Unpublished master’s thesis]. University of Oslo.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats